Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The men in sandals come for Tim Farron

Tim Farron more than doubled the Liberal Democrat membership and presided over an increase in the number of Lib Dem MPs at last week's general election.

But that was not enough for those anonymous "Lib Dem sources".
I am sorry to see Tim go. I think he did as well as could be expected in the near impossible circumstances in which he won the leadership.

The election campaign came too soon for him, with the result that a lot of voters did not know who he was. But with the exception of interview with Andrew Neil, he did well.

The Lib Dems' problems, as shown by the fall of our vote last week, run deep. We need some hard thinking about what the party is for and where our future lies. A leadership election is as likely to distract from that as aid it.

Tim's statement today was perhaps the worst thing he has done as leader.

No doubt it was true that:
“To be a political leader – especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 – and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me.”
But I would suggest this shows the problem with the rather sectarian Evangelical Christianity that Tim favours. Charles Kennedy being a Catholic never seemed to worry him or anyone else.

Maybe it also reveals a problem with modern liberalism. It is not enough for people to tolerate the currently approved progressive view: you have to embrace it or you are no liberal.

Nick Cohen says behind a paywall somewhere that, while we say we are fed up with indentikit PPE-and-think-tank politicians, the truth is that anyone who departs from model is hounded for it.

I suspect Tim's rise and fall shows the truth of that.


Simon said...

It is clear that Tim wrote that statement himself, and that he wrote it in anger, which was hardly a good idea. However it also seems like his critics did not give him much of an opportunity to do anything else. I have been a Lib Dem member through the departures of Kennedy, Campbell, Clegg and Farron and the only one of those resignations that made even the slightest sense to me at the time was Clegg's. I still don't really understand why Campbell had to go!

Is it because we are Liberals that we treat our leaders in this way?

crewegwyn said...

Can we have Tim back and get rid of Paddick?

Julia said...

I find it sad that when a person's voting record is exemplary as has been their espousing of the policies that are at the core of the parties values -that this is still not enough for the thought police. If Tim's faith was that of a Muslim or a Hindu there would have been a huge outcry at him being treated in this way. As liberals let's show some equity and accept those of whatever faith they have or none. It seems bizarre that in contrast Corbin can actually vote against his party's policies and for not a word to be said.

Davidee said...

It seems like he's guilty of thought crime in the eyes of some. It is not enough for them that he wants equality for homosexuals legally, he must be made to believe the right thoughts too, or be hounded out of office. That's not liberal that's totalitarian.